Financial scams - know how to identify and avoid fraud

Cyber criminals posing as representatives of companies, including banks, continue to sophisticate their attempts at tricking customers into transferring them money or sharing sensitive data. Their communications can look surprisingly genuine and they may use multiple channels to reach their targets. This is why it is of utmost importance that you remain vigilant. 

Spotting fraudulent phone calls and emails

The goal of fraudsters is simple – to steal your money and/or your identity. In order to do this, they may try to get you to invest in fake financial products in order to obtain your bank account details, or to persuade you to transfer them your money. Be sceptical of claims of instant returns or high yield with no risk and keep in mind that being pressured to make a decision quickly is usually a red flag.

Common types of scams

There are various types of financial scams. Some of the most common one include:

Fraudulent saving opportunities

Often called "savings products" or "savings accounts", these typically involve someone getting in touch by telephone and/or email to offer you an investment opportunity, using a similar but fake contact address. The conditions offered are often suspicious, and may involve the promise of "guaranteed" returns, or abnormally high interest rates.

Investment scams

Investment scams typically involve financial investments with the promise of very high rates of return. The investments may be in any type of financial product, including real estate, royalties, commodities or precious metals and minerals.

Impersonation and identify theft

Scams can involve someone impersonating a bank or financial services institution to offer fake products or services in an attempt to steal your money and/or your identity. In some cases, the fraudsters may even use the identities of the bank’s real employees when contacting their victims.

What to look out for

Fraudsters may use email, phone calls, SMS or private messages on your social media to steal your money and/or your identity. Watch out for:

  • Links to update your email address or account details
  • Invitations to invest in wonder financial products
  • Requests to transfer your money with the promise to receive a larger amount in return
  • Demands to unblock your account or unsubscribe from an offer

Beware of people posing as Swissquote

The protection of your personal information is our top priority. Knowing how to identify potentially suspicious requests will help prevent fraud and ensure your data remains safe.

Swissquote will never ask you:

  • to reveal personal data about yourselves (login, passwords, L3 card, personal or banking information) through an e-mail or text message
  • to connect to websites that are not endorsed by Swissquote
  • to call us on a new telephone number
  • to make a cash transfer to a safe account or a new bank account (payment instructions can be verified on your online account at any time), nor hand over cash
  • to carry out a "test" transaction online
  • to take quick decisions or respond under pressure, especially through unsolicited messages
  • to download an attachment or to install software or let anyone remotely log on to your computer or other devices either during or after a call

Swissquote will also never:

  • send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards or for any other financial interactions
  • provide banking services through any mobile apps other than the Bank's official apps

Stay in control with these easy guidelines

Please follow these simple steps to safeguard your personal data:

  1. Do not disclose your log in and personal details to third parties. Swissquote will never ask you for sensitive information.
  2. Always use your personal Swissquote secure mailbox
  3. Visit the Swissquote website by typing its address in your browser. Do not "copy and paste" links provided in e-mails or text messages into your browser.
  4. Never be rushed into anything, wait 5 minutes and reflect on what is being asked
  5. Increase your system security. Secure your computer with effective security programs with regular updates. For example:
    - Install a firewall
    - Use the latest version of your browser, most browsers have built-in protection against phishing and will notify you if you open a fraudulent website
    - Ensure your operating system is also up to date
    - Use a recognised anti-virus software and update it regularly
    - Use an anti-spam and anti-spyware programs
    - Delete cookies, browser history and cache as often as possible
  6. Take precautions when using a shared or open-access computer (internet café, hotel lobby…) or wifi hotspot. Always log out of your session using the buttons or hyperlinks provided and close the browser.
  7. Make your password more secure. Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers to create strong passwords and change them regularly